UAE Government announces new Media Regulation Law

The UAE government has enacted a federal decree law aimed at regulating media activities comprehensively.

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This initiative seeks to bolster the country's standing as a global media hub, fostering an environment conducive to the growth and prosperity of the media sector. Additionally, it aims to contribute to the development of a competitive legislative and investment framework that aligns with global shifts in the media landscape.


Any person, organisation, or entity doing media-related business inside the nation is subject to the rules laid out in the Decree-Law.


The law allows both natural and legal persons to own media institutions and outlets, subject to specific controls and conditions.

Defined media activities:

According to the decree legislation, media activities cover a broad spectrum of content creation, transmission, distribution, and dissemination across several platforms, including but not limited to: photography, book fairs, radio, film, publishing, electronic and digital media, and more.

Regulatory Powers:

The legislation specifies the authorities that the Emirates Media Council and other government departments have in relation to the management and monitoring of media operations, as well as the granting of licences and permits.

Content Standards:

Respect for religious beliefs, societal values, national identity, and political institutions are all part of the content standards that media practitioners are expected to uphold. Anything that might divide the country, encourage violence, disseminate misinformation, or breach people's privacy is illegal to publish.

Age Classification:

The Emirates Media Council is responsible for setting criteria for the age categorization of different forms of media material and giving permissions pertaining to the screening of films and other creative works.

Oversight and inspection:

The responsible authority is tasked with overseeing and inspecting licenced or authorised media organisations to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations of the Decree-Law.

Intellectual Property Protection:

The legislation places a strong emphasis on the need to safeguard intellectual property. As a result, the Emirates Media Council, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities, is mandated to do just that for the country's media business.

Grace Period for Compliance:

Media entities are given a grace period of one year to bring their operations in accordance with the Decree-Law, its rules, and implementing decisions; this term may be extended if necessary.

In order to promote a responsible and flourishing media business while protecting society's values and intellectual property rights, the UAE has enacted this extensive law.

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